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Crayon was the obvious choice for coloring Jihi, but I was afraid it would be messy if I attempted to draw or 'ink' her with crayolas. I drew here in ordinary mechanical pencil, trying to imitate Diana's style, then inked her in several different colors for a cheerful, childlike effect before coloring her. I didn't realize I could get such soft colors in crayon. I rubbed the excess wax off as I blended, which made a big difference. The little angel bell and the blue winged backpack are from 'Kikujiro', a very sweet and funny movie that my roommate made me watch when it came out on video recently. It's basically a road trip movie, with a young boy and a sort of grouchy, disreputable man who goes with him to keep him out of trouble and ends up doing a better job of getting him into it. It has some very poignant moments, and some very funny ones as well, and I highly recommend it. I think it was Jihi's little strap-on wings that put me in mind of the backpack, and the bell sort of followed on its own. It just seemed appropriate.
The rough crayon drawings in the background represent the other characters of 'Aoi': The linked hearts are for Daisuke and Kishou, the sun is for Aoi, the cat for Kannon, the bunny for Mochiko, the moon for Shashi, the feather for Byrd, the cloud for Dylan, the star for Jinko, and the turtle for Kappa.
I really love the idea of the goddess of mercy being a small child, and I also like the symbolism of her hairstyle being heart-shaped and pink, although Diana mentioned on the forum that that was subconscious/unintentional. As for the haiku…there's…not much more I can say about it than what's already there. ^_^;;;

JinkoThis is spacer text because it is 2am and I am tired of fixing html bits...Shashi
Character copyright Diana, 2002
Image copyright Bridgie, 2002